FORT MYERS, Fla. – With a five-match win streak on the line, the FGCU women’s tennis team (10-4, 4-1 A-Sun) fell 4-3 in a hard fought dual match to conference opponent USC Upstate (9-5, 1-2 A-Sun) at the FGCU Tennis Complex on Thursday evening.
“Morgan (Bechtel) fought her heart out today and really came close to a win,” described head coach Jennifer Gabou. “I have to say that courts one, three, four and five came to play and a job well done to Upstate.”
The loss to the Spartans gives the Eagles their first loss of the 2013 dual match season and Upstate has now won four of the five all-time meetings between the two programs.
FGCU got off to a strong start by taking the first doubles match on court No. 3 as the duo of Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) won 8-3. The Green and Blue were unable to capitalize on the opportunity as the Spartans took the other two doubles matches to win the point and go up 1-0 on the road.
The first dual match point of the day would come from Johanna Sterkel (Schwtzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) who won 6-2, 6-1 in straight sets to pull the dual match score to 2-1 with USC Upstate still in the lead.
Once Sterkel completed her match, Elizabeth Means and Sarah Means both won their respective singles matches in straight sets as well to put FGCU on top 3-2 in the dual match with a victory in sight.
Entering with a winning road record, the Spartans would not waver under the pressure on an unfamiliar court as they rallied to take court No. 6 to tie the match at 3-3. Upstate would then battle through a hard-fought, three-set match taking place on the No. 4 court to win the singles match and clinch the dual match victory over the Eagles.
FGCU will have one day to recover before taking on ETSU at the FGCU Tennis Complex on Saturday, March 30 at 11 a.m. to close out its 2013 spring home schedule. Admission to all matches at the FGCU Tennis Complex is free.
Following the match, results and a recap from the dual match action will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.
USC Upstate 4, FGCU 3
Order of Finish: (2, 3, 5, 1, 6, 4)
1. S. Means (FGCU) def. Kuerten (UPST) – 6-0, 6-1
2. von Stryk (UPST) def. Mandic (FGCU) – 6-0, 6-1
3. Sterkel (FGCU) def. Rojas (UPST) – 6-2, 6-1
4. Cohen (UPST) def. Bechtel (FGCU) – 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (5)
5. E. Means (FGCU) def. Beeler (UPST) – 6-0, 6-2
6. Bell (UPST) def. Botha (FGCU) – 7-6 (2), 6-3
Order of Finish: (3, 1, 2)
1. Bell/Cohen (UPST) def. Bechtel/Botha (FGCU) – 8-3
2. von Stryk/Rojas (UPST) def. Mandic/Sterkel (FGCU) – 8-5
3. E. Means/S. Means (FGCU) def. Kuerten/Beeler (UPST) – 8-3